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Scruggs leads BHS signing trio; Fennell, Byrd take JUCO route

A trio of late-season college baseball signings was highlighted by Matthew Scrugss saying yes to East Tennessee State University.

“He was Offensive Player of the Year in our district [4-AAA],” BHS head coach Matt Buckner said of Scruggs, a standout centerfielder who hit .410 with 13 home runs, 43 RBIs, an .872 slugging percentage, .548 on-base per and 24 stolen bases. “He had a big-time year. He’s super athletic. Figured it out at the plate. ... Plays the game really fast.

“His game really came together,” Buckner added about the 6-foot-1, 175-pound All-Region 2-AAA honoree. “He worked hard and worked out.”

Andy Fennell, one of Bearden’s top pitchers as an All-District and All-Region honoree, has signed with junior college powerhouse Walters State in Morris-town.

“Andy’s pretty talented, good competitor, competes really hard on the mound,” Buckner said of the 6-foot-2, 180-pounder. “He’s really got good stuff. Good velocity, good curveball.”

Fennell finished with a 6-2 record, including a win against eventual Class AAA state champ Farragut, with a 2.53 ERA, 65 strikeouts and one save in 63 innings pitched.

Jonathan Byrd, BHS standout catcher and All-District honoree named BHS’s top defensive player in 2008, signed with Columbia State, Nashville, of the Tennessee Junior Community College Athletic Association.

“He’s a good catch-throw guy behind the plate,” Buckner said of the 5-foot-11, 185-pounder. “He’s a hard-nosed baseball player, really loves the game, works hard at the game.

Byrd hit .350 with four home runs, 27 RBIs and 11 doubles. “He had a good year. He threw out 50 percent of his runners,” Buckner said.

Byrd originally signed with Hiwassee College before the Madisonville-based private junior college and TJCCAA member lost its accreditation according to Buckner.


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